Steps Ahead

Steps Ahead

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The debut domestic recording by Steps Ahead (following three sets only released in Japan) features the 1982 version of the group: vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, pianist Eliane Elias (a young unknown at the time), bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Peter Erskine. The music is essentially high-quality funky fusion, with Brecker typically blowing up a storm, Mainieri often playing the synthivibe, and Elias showing some early individuality. Best known among the seven originals are Don Grolnick's "Pools" and Mainieri's "Islands." The inventive but pretty accessible set concludes with "Trio," a fairly free improvisation featuring Brecker, Gomez, and Mainieri.

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